Using Spent Mushroom Substrate as the Base for Organic-Mineral Micronutrient Fertilizer – Field Tests on Maize

Łukasz Tuhy, Mateusz Samoraj, Zuzanna Witkowska, Radosław Wilk, Katarzyna Chojnacka


Spent mushroom substrate (SMS) is a noxious byproduct of the mushroom industry. The aim of this work was to convert SMS into organic-mineral micronutrient (Zn(II), Mn(II), and Cu(II)) fertilizer via biosorption and examine the effect of its application in field tests on maize compared to commercial reference micronutrient fertilizer. Crop yield and crop quality were assessed, and multielemental analysis of grains was conducted for the evaluation of the fertilization effect on maize grains and to assess bioavailability of nutrients from fertilizers. Grain yield for maize treated with micronutrients delivered with SMS was noticeably higher (11.5%) than the untreated group and the NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium) fertilizer treated only group (2.8%). Bioavailability (TF) of micronutrients from SMS were comparable with reference micronutrient fertilizer (7% Zn, 4% Mn, and 2.3% Cu). The new product has the potential to be used as a micronutrient fertilizer. Satisfactory results of grain yield (6.4 Mg ha-1), high content of micronutrients (Zn 1.6%, Mn 1.2%, and Cu 1.8%), and macronutrients (P 1.0%, S 3.1%, Ca 8.2%, and K 0.2%) were observed. The bioavailability suggests that enriched SMS could be a good alternative to fertilizers in the present market.


Spent mushroom substrate (SMS); Biomass utilization; Field tests; Micronutrient fertilizer; Micronutrients

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